The Role of a Montessori Teacher

2487 words 10 pages
The Role of
The Teacher
Clare Walker

The following essay should describe the Role of a Teacher within the specially Prepared Environment as defined by Maria Montessori in her years of observation. In a Montessori School, the word Teacher is not used as Directress is used instead.
In her writings, Maria Montessori used the word “Direttoressa” taken from the Italian word “direttore” which when looking into the meaning of the word is less about telling people what to do but more about steering people in the right direction. It is not only used for teacher but also for conductor, editors and managers.
The word “Directress” which is used today was first used in translation of the book The Montessori Method in 1912 by the
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The child of this age..., who develops by spontaneous work, following the guides of nature, cannot develop in this fashion with a teacher that teaches”. Maria Montessori. Not only will constant interruptions affect a child’s natural learning abilities but will become tiresome for him.

There are times however, when it is necessary to interrupt; when a child has yet to learn to concentrate or when another is being disruptive. Interruptions can take many forms and so a Directress must learn this skill. Praise or even a look might become a disruption and so care must be taken even whilst observing. During observation, the Directress should not only be assessing whether a child is ready to move on through the learning process but also to evaluate whether the apparatus on display has run its course and whether it should be replaced with a more advanced one.

A Montessori Teacher is trained to instruct one child at a time. The term for this is “following a child”. This means that she must present the educational tools individually. She must take interest in the person and support them through their learning experience and not judge or have any pre-conceived ideas of a child’s abilities. Her knowledge of a child should be true and come from her findings whilst observing. She should not compare one child to another for a prepared environment is a non-competitive one which allows an individual to work at their own


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